Is Eating Breakfast Important?

Sheri Cyprus

Eating breakfast is considered extremely important. In fact, it's often called the most important meal of the day by health experts. This morning meal "breaks the fast" of the body being without food during sleep — hence, its name. Breakfast fuels the body for the day's activities ahead.

A continental breakfast.
A continental breakfast.

In a healthy diet, breakfast should contain a variety of nutritious foods. Healthy morning carbohydrate choices include fruit or fruit juice as well as a whole grain starch such as oatmeal. Whole wheat toast is another popular healthy breakfast option. Cereal such as granola, which contains oats as well as other grains, plus nuts, seeds or dried fruit, makes a quick breakfast option. Sprinkling some granola on top of plain, nonfat yogurt is another quick, yet healthy way of eating breakfast.

Blueberries provide important nutrients at the start of the day.
Blueberries provide important nutrients at the start of the day.

Many people make the excuse that they don't have time for breakfast, but keeping yogurt and granola on hand can help change that. However, many health experts assert that enjoying a large breakfast is better than eating a lot at the evening meal, so taking the time to prepare a variety of morning foods can be a good idea. Some people who leave early for work during the week tend to get into the habit of eating breakfast quickly, but then eat larger morning meals on the weekend.

Eating a healthy breakfast provides the body with fuel for the day.
Eating a healthy breakfast provides the body with fuel for the day.

A nutritious way of eating breakfast is including a variety of foods from all of the food groups. For example, whole wheat blueberry pancakes with orange juice and a glass of milk is a hot breakfast that has vitamins and healthy grains. If butter and syrup are used on the pancakes, they should be included in the total fat and carbohydrate choices for the day. A bowl of oatmeal with milk and cinnamon is low fat and includes no sugar. Such hearty breakfast choices can make a person start the day feeling full and be less likely to overeat later.

Granola cereal can make for a simple and hearty breakfast.
Granola cereal can make for a simple and hearty breakfast.

Studies have shown that people who skip eating breakfast tend to be more tempted to eat "junk" foods high in sugar or fat during the rest of the day. Not having breakfast has also been associated with poor concentration and energy levels. Blood sugar levels can become unbalanced when the morning meal is skipped. Diabetics especially must be sure to eat breakfast or their blood sugar could become a dangerous level; if it's too high or low, it could lead to coma or death.

Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast food, offering high fiber and many nutrients.
Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast food, offering high fiber and many nutrients.
Skipping breakfast can lead to poor food choices the rest of the day, so it's especially important for children to get in the habit of eating breakfast everyday.
Skipping breakfast can lead to poor food choices the rest of the day, so it's especially important for children to get in the habit of eating breakfast everyday.
Even eating a piece of fruit, such as an apple, can be a good breakfast.
Even eating a piece of fruit, such as an apple, can be a good breakfast.
Eggs are a low carb breakfast option.
Eggs are a low carb breakfast option.
A cup of yogurt with fruit or granola on top can make for a quick and healthy breakfast.
A cup of yogurt with fruit or granola on top can make for a quick and healthy breakfast.
A glass of orange juice can be part of a healthy breakfast.
A glass of orange juice can be part of a healthy breakfast.
A crustless quiche stuffed with fresh vegetables is a nutritious breakfast that is low in carbs yet packed with protein.
A crustless quiche stuffed with fresh vegetables is a nutritious breakfast that is low in carbs yet packed with protein.
Fruit, such as bananas, can help give a person the energy they need to get the day started.
Fruit, such as bananas, can help give a person the energy they need to get the day started.

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Discussion Comments

Inaventu

I keep at least one box of frozen breakfast sandwiches in my freezer all the time. If I know I don't have time to eat breakfast in the morning, I take one of those sandwiches with me to work. I just can't stand the idea of not eating a healthy breakfast every morning. I will be sluggish all morning, and I won't be able to concentrate on anything except my hunger level.

I make sure my children are eating a healthy breakfast, even though they are young adults now. I don't want them getting in the habit of skipping meals, especially the first one of the day.

Buster29

I have to admit that if I have to skip any meal, it will be breakfast. I understand that eating a healthy breakfast is considered important, but there are many days when I can't stop to make one or buy one because of early meetings or whatever. If I can hold out until lunchtime, I will eat a larger meal then.

But I do enjoy eating breakfast in the morning on my days off. I like going to a local country-style restaurant and ordering the largest breakfast plate they have. This means three eggs, two pieces of sausage, two pieces of bacon, grits, three pancakes and a bottomless cup of coffee.

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